Salvation Army Opens Child Care to Support Essential Workers

Child care worker uses social distancing to greet children
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When The Region of Peel, a municipality in the Greater Toronto Area, sent out a plea to child care providers to help support essential workers on the front lines of COVID-19, The Salvation Army was quick to respond.

“Supporting those who need our help is what The Salvation Army does,” says Linda Gilbert, director of child care services.

“Our family is so appreciative of you,” says one dad. “Our son is happy to be here!”

When licenced child care centres closed as the result of the pandemic, The Salvation Army’s child care programs ceased. In partnership with The Region of Peel, Gilbert and her team are grateful for the opportunity to provide a safe and caring environment for the COVID-19 front-line workers’ children.

“It’s wonderful to work with a team who is dedicated to making a difference during these challenging times,” says Nathalie, a staff member.

On April 6, Gilbert and her team opened the doors of The Salvation Army’s child care centre in Mississauga, Ont. Staff was trained and fully aware of how the program would operate.

Child explores science with his new teacher

Child explores science with his new teacher

“The operation of our Emergency Child Care looks very different from our regular child care operations because of all the extra precautions we take to keep everyone healthy,” says Gilbert.

Gilbert says everyone entering the building is health screened, which includes staff. Parents pull their cars up to a marked entrance where the families are met and screened by a staff member. Rooms are disinfected every four hours and children’s toys are sanitized after each use. Social distancing strategies are in place and, at the end of the day, parents call the centre and children are taken back to their parent’s vehicles.

“Our family is so appreciative of you,” says one dad. “Our son is happy to be here!”

“The Salvation Army has a good relationship with the Region of Peel,” says Gilbert. “We are grateful to support our community in such a practical way and will continue to do so until regular child care centres reopen.”

For more information on emergency child care for essential workers in Peel region, or to apply, please visit:

The Salvation Army continues to provide essential services across Canada throughout the COVID-19 crisis. To donate, visit or call 1-800-SAL-ARMY.

By Linda Leigh